Lipman POS E-Checks

Lipman USA has certified its terminals for check debit processing through Payment Option Solutions. This certification enables retailers to utilize most MICR check readers on NURIT terminals to take advantage of POS’ unique Check Debit Processing opportunity. With the Paid On Signing product from POS, merchants simply pass the check through the reader and key in certain consumer information. Within nine seconds, the consumer’s personal bank account is accessed, the availability of funds is verified, and the account is debited similar to the way it would be in a traditional ATM/Debit transaction.

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Young Americans & KeyCorp

Denver-based Young Americans Bank has signed an agreement with Cleveland-based KeyCorp to provide its under-21 customers with surcharge-free access to Key’s network of 81 ATMs in Colorado. Young Americans Bank is the first financial institution in Colorado to partner with Key for ATM access. Key also provides national and regional ATM access to banks, savings and loans and credit unions in Ohio, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. Agent Bank services also are available in Alaska, Arizona, California, Michigan, Nevada, Utah and Vermont.

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Box Tops VISA

General Mills reported yesterday that its “Box Tops for Education” program produced $23 million this school year for the 77,000 schools enrolled in the program. Besides the “Box Tops” coupons which appear on over 800 brands of grocery items, General Mills and Bank One also offer the”Box Tops VISA” which delivers a full 1% of every purchase to a designated “Box Tops” school, up to a maximum of $20,000 per school annually. Bank One and General Mills launched the card in November 2001. General Mills launched the “Box Tops for Education” program in 1996, and has raised more than $90 million for America’s schools. More than half of American homes with children participate in the original “Box Tops for Education” clipping program.

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Evo VISA

WI-based Universal Savings Bank this week officially launched its new VISA credit card that offers a free HP “Evo” laptop computer for making a minimum $5,000 balance transfer. However, cardholders who receive the free laptop must maintain a balance of at least $3,000 for the first 12 months, or a $500 penalty fee is charged to the account. The new “Universal Savings Bank Platinum VISA” offers a 10.99% variable interest rate on purchases as well as cash advances, and carries no annual fee. As part of the new offer, USB is waiving cash advance fees and is extending the purchase APR of 10.99% to cash balances. Cardholders who do not have $5,000 worth of balances to transfer, may take the difference as a cash advance up to $2,000 to qualify for the free laptop. The “Compaq Evo N1015v” notebook PC being offered with the new VISA card retails for $999 and has a street price around $800. (CF Library 5/20/03)

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Trilegiant Loyalty Patent

VA-based Trilegiant Loyalty Solutions yesterday received a new patent for a fully integrated, on-line interactive frequency and award redemption program. The new patent supplements patents relating to the online delivery of incentive and loyalty programs that were originally issued to Netcentives. Trilegiant purchased these patents at auction in December 2001 and they have been widely licensed to entities providing online incentive or loyalty services. Trilegiant Loyalty Solutions helps organizations motivate, reward and retain their most valued customers, employees and partners primarily through the administration of points-based loyalty solutions.

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FICO X3

Fair Isaac yesterday announced a new service to offer consumers all three of their “FICO” credit risk scores. The Experian-based “FICO” score joins “FICO” scores from Equifax and TransUnion in the first complete view for consumers. Fair Isaac is charging consumers $12.95 for each FICO-scored profile or $38.85 for all three. Fair Isaac says that through its myFICO Web site and associate Web sites, more than two and a half million FICO score-based information products have been sold to date.

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Balance Transfers APRs

More card issuers are extending their promotional balance transfer interest rates to the life of the balance. Mintel’s Comperemedia says the number of such offers has increased from 7% to 10% between January and March. American Express solicitations for their “Blue” and “Delta SkyMiles” constitute the majority of the offers for a rate good on balance transfers for the life of the balance. However, Bank of America, Chase, and Bank One also have such offers in the pipeline. Discover is offering a 0% for life on transferred balances if the customer makes two purchases or cash advances during each billing period. If the customer fails to make the required transaction, the interest rate increases to the purchase rate. Mintel also noted that in January, 92% of the offers with a promotional balance transfer rate offered it for 6 months or more. In March, this decreased to 86% of the offers.

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SMART TOURISM CARDS

Jerusalem-based -T.V.G. Technologies Ltd. is supplying tens of thousands of smart-cards for a project to encourage tourism in Jerusalem. The smart-cards will be programmed to provide discounts to tourists at hotels and other tourist attractions, as part of a multi-million dollar subsidies program for the tourism industry in Jerusalem. TVG will supply smart-card read/write systems and programming services in addition to the smart-cards, generating revenues of several hundred thousand dollars over a period of 3-5 years.

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Staples & Hypercom

Staples has inked a multi-million dollar deal to deploy 6,500 Hypercom card payment terminals, including the new EMV-type approved “ICE 6000Plus” with “HyperSafe” operating system security, in its US stores. Worldwide, businesses recognize Hypercom as the world’s premier provider of fast, high performance card payment and transaction networking technology and products. The Internet enabled ICE devices are high performance, touch screen-based card payment terminals that incorporate physical security features and Hypercom’s HyperSafe operating system.

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CARD VOLUME

Gross dollar volume on credit and debit cards is now growing at a 4.4% annual rate, based on April’s activity. London-based Credit Card Research Group reports £10.0 billion in April card spending. CCRG says the services segment continues to grow strongly with the value of card transactions up 13.5% on April 2002, to £8.4 billion. This includes a rebound for the travel industry after a slow month in March, with spending up 9.8% year-on-year.

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ECHO Headquarters

CA-based Electronic Clearing House is moving its headquarters in August from Agoura Hills to Camarillo. The new headquarters is 20,030 square feet of a 40,000 square foot office building located within the Camarillo Business Center. Of ECHO’s 194 total employees nationwide, approximately 125 will be relocated from the current headquarters in Agoura Hills, California to the new location in Camarillo, a distance of 20 miles. The move is scheduled for August 2003.

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EASY-FUEL

Rosh Pina-based On Track Innovations Ltd has commercially launched its wireless solution for petroleum payment management and loyalty programs for oil companies, commercial transport and transportation fleets, and private motorists. “EasyFuel” is targeted for the U.S. and European markets, but is currently deployed in Africa and South America. The fleet product has been operating in Africa via BP and Exel under the brand name “FuelMaster,” and currently includes approximately 500 gas stations and 40,000 vehicles. OTI recently announced that ABSA Bank, the largest commercial bank in South Africa, had joined the “FuelMaster Express” program, geared toward private motorists, providing access to over 400,000 motorists in ABSA’s fuel card
program. BP and Repsol have adopted OTI’s solution for petroleum payment and fleet management in Africa, South America, and Europe.

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